Who are you?
Aga Gajownik, Director of Scrum Educational Experience.
What do you do?
We introduce technology and entrepreneurship into schools using the SEE STEAM educational hackathon model. We have turned the traditional hackathon into an agile learning tool to give students the chance to learn about opportunities and careers within the tech industry. We are working towards creating a training platform for teachers to enable them to facilitate the conversation around careers in the digital industries.
We were part of cohort 7 of the UCL EDUCATE programme.
What educational challenge are you trying to address?
There are big challenges for teachers in introducing technological concepts to young people because this is an environment that is constantly changing, and it can be difficult for teachers to keep up. Furthermore, many teachers don’t feel confident about introducing conversations around technology in the classroom because they just don’t have that experience themselves. This is one of the reasons there is a digital skills gap in the UK.
What impact did the EDUCATE programme have on your product and company?
My experience and background came from working in the industry, so I found it hard to reach out to teachers and to speak their language. I also needed to gain more knowledge about research and the different methodologies that we could adapt to the product, so it was useful in an educational setting. The EDUCATE programme helped me to learn about all these aspects and, crucially, to measure the impact that the product had on the learners. It helped me to translate my ideas into something useful and effective for teachers and learners.
What impact has achieving an EdWard had on you personally, and on your company or product?
Achieving an Evidence-Aware EdWard is a recognition of how far we have come as a company and shows that we understand how to use data to develop our product, rather than just believing that what we are doing is right. It provides us with evidence that we can show to teachers that the product achieves tangible results and helps with the conversation around the effectiveness of SEE STEAM events.
What advice would you give to prospective EDUCATE participants?
Anyone who comes from a non-academic background can really benefit from the EDUCATE programme. The blend of business and research mentoring has given us a structure to what we do. I would definitely recommend identifying your weaknesses and connecting with mentors who can help.